London Basement Debate

In a presentation given by Rob Withers of ASUC plus at our Structural Waterproofing Industry Forum the issue of changes to planning policy at Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) was discussed.

RBKC have been out to consultation three times the final period being February 2014 when all interested parties had to submit responses so that RBKC can submit to the Government Planning Inspectorate their case for changing planning rules.

In brief if it goes ahead they will limit Domestic Basement construction in the borough (retro fit) to one storey down only and a maximum of 50% of any rear garden, planning on listed properties will not be granted at all. Thus there is a current tripling of applications within the borough under the existing rules which allow for the now commonly seen iceberg properties with 2 or 3 storeys of basement underneath them and/or including extending under the rear gardens. The existing rules will continue to apply for all applications lodged with RBKC until the implementation of any new rules.

RBKC share their back office facilities with Hammersmith and Fulham and Westminster Councils so you could expect those two and maybe other London boroughs to follow suit in due course if this application to the Planning Inspectorate is successful

The attached documents outline the time table for the decisions with the Planning Inspector appointed by the Inspectorate

RBKC Initial Questions – click here
RBKC Guidance Notes – click here
RBKC ASUC’s response – click here

Publication of the Inspector’s matters, issues and questions: Monday 4 August 2014.
• Deadline for submission of written hearing statements: Friday 5 September 2014.
• Hearing sessions: Tuesday 16 – Thursday 18 September, and Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 September (5 days in total). Thursday 25 September is a reserve day

Any comments on the initial timetables for the hearings should be received by the Programme Officer by Friday 29 June 2014.

ASUC plus believe that if you have not already made representation then you will be excluded from the hearing sessions, as ASUC plus have made submissions PCA can liaise with them to bring any points raised to the Inspectors attention .